The iPad frenzy continues unabated with the latest 3G version of the popular tablet device being lapped up in droves. A recent estimate put the number of 3G enabled iPads that literally flew out of Apple stores at almost three hundred thousand units and this reflects the sales figure of the device’s just the first weekend. In fact, the sales figure could well have been even more had there not being a constraint in supply and with many of the stores having run out of iPads by Sunday.
The success of the 3G enabled iPad has also led to a rub off affect on its WiFi counterparts with Apple retail stores reporting having sold out of these version as well, something that can be attributed to a robust demand with simply not enough devices to keep up with market requirements. Though such a demand-supply gap might result in less number of iPads sold, experts opine that such a scenario is only going to be short term since people surely are interested in the device and are eager to take home one. However, all of this is going to come at the cost of the iPad making its international foray, which has been pegged at only around late May.
But lurking amongst all the craze for the iPad is an evil that can play spoil sport with what can be said of as a wonderful tablet. And the evil lies in the 3G services that is being meted out by AT&T. The company has already been in the bad books with its below par 3G network and the company offering 3G services in the iPad has brought AT&Ts 3G network to even more scrutiny. Perhaps even more worse is the company’s $30 a month ‘unlimited data’ services plan.
In fact, a steady stream of complaints has already started to flow in with users simply not satisfied with the way videos are being rendered by way of the built in YouTube app. The primary grouse is that the videos that are being rendered are nowhere near HD quality when buffered through AT&Ts 3G network.
The problem does not seem to be limited to only the HD videos as even the standard videos over the 3G network leave a lot to be desired, leaving many to wonder as to how much bandwidth the videos are eating up.
Apart from the issues with the YouTube app, the iPad’s Skype iPhone app too has been reported to be non functional on the 3G iPads. What this means is that owners of the 3G iPads are yet unable to make or receive Skype calls.
So what all of this boils down to is that while the iPad is a great device and definitely worth the hype surrounding the latest Apple tablet, the AT&T’s 3G network has been found to be equally depressing. So much that you may be prevented from using the iPad up to its full potential only for want of a good and reliable 3G network that can match up to the brilliance of the tablet.
Perhaps AT&T might have thought that with WiFi coming as default in an iPad, the 3G feature will be taken for granted. That it didn’t is the real tragedy.
Meanwhile, all those who had preordered the 3G iPads were delivered by mail on Friday while Apple’s retail stores had begun selling the iPads from 5 pm onwards on Friday. The 3G iPads cost $130 more than the WiFi only devices and there are no contract data plans on offer from AT&T. As for the price structure for the 3G iPads, the 16GB versions costs $629, the 32GB iPads cost $729 while the top of the line 64GB iPad is there for the taking for a cool $829.
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Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email